There are a lot of players icing injuries in the Canucks’ training room this morning, all hoping the version of the Oilers that showed up last night was a one-time deal. Because, sweet-tap-dancing-baby-Jesus, that was a great game. We found ourselves standing and yelling at the TV on numerous occasions, which is usually behaviour reserved for afternoon Judge Judy reruns.
Yes, Oilers! That’s the way you play hockey! In what was one of the most entertaining games we’ve seen in awhile, the Oil sent a message that they are not about to roll over and die down the stretch run. By our count, there were three—yes three—separate line fights last night. We haven’t seen three line fights in a game since the 1970s, when former Oilers coach Ted Green was taking sticks to the skull like Britney takes hits off the crack pipe.
Did anyone happen to catch Sam Gagner fighting Kesler? It looked like little Sam Gag was fighting his Dad for heavens sake. He’s only 11 years old and there he is drilling Kesler in the face with his tiny fists. Good for you Gagner!
Hemsky popped Burrows too, and our boy Smid is starting to mix it up every damn game, it seems. When Smid entered the league, he was going to be another in a long line of fluff Euro defencemen who score some points and go have a Gatorade whenever any fights pop up. But credit MacT for pairing him with Staios for two straight seasons because it’s put Smid on a completely different path than we would have predicted. Smid has been able to keep his offensive upside, work on his defensive liabilities and somehow become a no-joke physical player as well. Years from now, when Smid is making $5 million a year in this league, he’ll have one person to thank: Steve Staios. He should send Staios a basket of Christmas Muffins to his mansion in the hills every year, like we send Tom Cruise a box of our toenails every Valentine’s Day.
It seems to us that this team is starting to show some freakin’ heart finally—something it’s been lacking all season. At this stage, if this team keeps beating the piss out of everyone they see, it doesn’t really matter about the standings. The Oil will be one Marian Hossa signing away from being a kick-ass team next year.